Shri Gurudev Mahendranath

Shri Gurudev Mahendranath

Portrait of Mahendranath, waist up, wearing orange cloth around body and over left shoulder, rudrakshas, foliage in background
Card with contact information for Shri Gurudev Mahendranath

Shri Gurudev Mahendranath (April 29, 1911–August 30, 1991) was a Nath guru, tantric guru, sadhu, sannyasin, writer, poet, and Avadhut.

Born Lawrence Miles in London, England on April 29, 1911, his interests in the area of spiritual investigation and the Pagan way of life began at an unusually early age. During his childhood, he had a number of unique experiences which began the course of his inner development and later led to his spiritual attainment and recognition by the public.

As a young man, Shri Mahendranath met and exchanged ideas with the advanced thinker and mystic, Aleister Crowley. Personal experiences and the advice of Mr. Crowley suggested that he might gain valuable insight by the deeper study of meditation and the I Ching oracle with Indian and other Asian Masters.

After some years, Lawrence Miles arrived in India. In 1953 he was given initiation as a sannyasin into the Adi-Nath Sampradaya by Shri Sadguru Lokanath and given the initiation name Mahendranath.

During his life as a sannyasin, Shri Mahendranath traveled to Ceylon, Thailand, Bangladesh, Burma, Cambodia, Laos, and Malaysia. He also received initiations as a Bhutanese Lama and was regarded as a meditation master in Soto Zen, Taoism, and held initiations in both Mahayana and Theravada Buddhism.

Shri Gurudev’s greatest personal interests have been with the Adinath and Uttara Kaula sects. In 1963 he was given Tantric initiation by Shri Pagala Baba of Ranchi into the Uttara Kaula sect of Northern Tantrics and became his successor.

As Guru of the ancient Adinath and Uttara Kaula sects, Shri Mahendranath resolved not to pass on the Indian renunciate initiation, into these sects. He made no new Indian sadhus. This decision was made in response to changes in the socio-religious patterns of India and the difficulties experienced by members of some Tantric traditions to be less than supported outside of areas in which they were already known and loved. The spiritual pattern of sadhu and sannyasi life and its support by the public is also foreign to the social structures of the West and most other countries of the world.

To meet this situation and to give occult spiritual pursuits greater expression in Western lands, Shri Gurudev put into motion the formation of the International Nath Order. The Guru tradition and initiation which he passed on includes not only wisdom teachings from Indian, Bhutanese and Soto Zen sources, but also gems of Taoism and such wisdom as is rediscovered by the science and yoga of meditation and contemplation.

The International Nath Order (originally Western Nath Order) was founded by Shri Gurudev Mahendranath in 1978 in order to share his own spiritual development and magick power with other sincere people in the West. The INO presents and promotes Dadaji’s own synthesis of the tantric teachings of both the Adinath and Uttara Kaula lines as a spiritual path for the western householder. Initiates of the International Nath Order are known as Naths or Devis.

Shri Gurudev Mahendranath left his body and entered mahasamadhi on August 30, 1991. His last residence was his hermitage, Shambhala Tapovan near the Vatrak river in Mehmadabad, Gujarat, India. He was the last guru of both the Adinath and Uttara Kaula lineages which became defunct with his passing.

Shri Mahendranath wrote numerous articles and essays on tantra and the spiritual life, including the Twilight Yoga Trilogy, the Levogyrate Tantra, and The Londinium Temple Strain, subsequently collected under the title The Scrolls of Mahendranath. These works present the essentials of spiritual life and the tantric path in a humorous, non-dogmatic and non-sectarian manner.

International Nath Order Lineage